With the preseason officially done for the Dallas Cowboys, the only thing that stands between the franchise's date with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week One is 14 days. And, I don't know about you, but it's exciting to think that I will only have to live through two more Sundays of no football.
While that sounds all fine and dandy, I wanted to look at the bigger picture, and that's the 2022 season for the Cowboys. See, I understand with the recent Tyron Smith injury that many fans are throwing the season in the trash, but you got to have some hope.
The team still has many of its key players on the field, and while I see some bumps and bruises happening this season, my advice is to take it game-by-game–but also be happy that football is back!!!
But enough season-talk, as I wanted to dive deeper into which players I feel will be making fans cheer this season, so let's be happy that I'm talking some positive news around the Boys.
Below are my choices for the team's MVP, Breakout Player, Rookie Standout, and Biggest Sleeper this season.
Hope you enjoy.
Team MVP: LB Micah Parsons
I get the notion that fans believe QB Dak Prescott is the most important player for the team but is he the most valuable? No. Parsons is.
Entering his second year, Parsons has already elevated himself as a Top-15 player in the NFL, and it's crazy to think he's only likely scratching the surface of how good he can be. While people can argue that the defense would still be elite without him, you are sleeping on how special of a player Parsons is.
This pick isn't a knock on Prescott in any way, but Parsons has already elevated himself as a guy who can single-handily win you games, and I'm so excited to see him take his game to the next level. Expect him to be in the running for DPOY again, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear his name called this time.
Breakout Player: RB Tony Pollard
Ahh, the good ole' Tony Pollard narrative.
I can bet money if you ask any Cowboy fan about the RB situation–they will scream to the heavens that they want Pollard to start–and for RB Ezekiel Elliott to take a backseat.
But what if I offered an alternative and said both could co-exist on the field simultaneously and make an impact? Because that's what I predict as the reality for this season.
As we all know, two of the big elephants in the room are the team's WR situation and their LT problem. Well, my idea (which is the team's same idea, hopefully) is to use Pollard in a WR role more to open up the offense, and getting the ball out to him quickly would solve the team's problem at LT.
Even beyond Pollard, the team must use players like KaVontae Turpin and Jalen Tolbert, who both show elite speed, as they can also be factors to help the team's shaky offensive line.
Add in that Prescott has already complimented Pollard's receiving abilities–I expect Pollard to breakout big-time this year, and I won't be surprised to see him finish as the all-purpose yards leader again.
Rookie Standout: DE Sam Williams
If there were one player who could replicate a fraction of Parson's stellar rookie season, it would have to be DE Sam Williams. And before fans freak out, I'm not putting him on the same talent level as Parsons, but that is why I said FRACTION of what he did.
So far this offseason, some words people have used to describe Williams are: disruptive, freak, fast, violent, and scary.
And after seeing this breakdown below by NFL analyst Brian Baldinger, I would have to agree.
.@dallascowboys Rookie DE; Sam Williams, is coming along quickly and the FURY he played with v @Seahawks is exactly what the Cowboys need. #BaldtsBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/47ZJiZbHiZ
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) August 27, 2022
Williams is arguably the most athletic player on the defense behind Parsons, and there is no doubt the coaching staff knows they have to get him on the field based on his freakish athleticism and abilities.
If I had to guess the amount of playing time he may receive, I would tell you that it's going to be little to start the year, but expect him to turn it up as the season progresses. Rookie WR Jalen Tolbert would have been the easy choice here (given he should see the ball a lot early), but I predict Willians to have a bigger impact in Year One.
Biggest Sleeper: S Israel Mukuamu
Every year, we get treated to players who show out in the preseason and expect them to ball out once the regular season starts. But as we all know, that typically doesn't happen.
However, with S Israel Mukuamu, I expect to go against the odds and become a star before our eyes.
Arguably the team's secondary room is one of the strongest units, and you could say that Mukuamu may have the numbers against him. But after some strong preseason play, it will be hard for him to keep off-the-field.
Whether he sees action in the S position or gets put into a hybrid role, I hope fans are excited as I am because this guy is a well-rounded player– and it won't be surprising to see him become a significant contributor by the end of the season.